February 17, 2013
Boxer Sonny Bill likely to get hurt
Opinion: I hope Sonny Bill Williams gives up boxing before he gets badly hurt.
Talk this week of David Tua fighting Sonny Bill is just plain madness. Tua would beat Sonny Bill blindfolded – that is if there was none of the behind-the-scenes ducking and diving alleged to have been going on at his fight against Francois Botha.
That question has to be asked after Botha claimed Sonny Bill's manager Khoder Nasser offered him $150,000 to lose the fight.
Nasser denies that of course but it does raise the question simply because Sonny Bill is a long way from being a capable boxer. Losing would have meant the end of the road and a huge loss in terms of potential dollars.
In the end it was all a shambles – the fight was suddenly reduced to 10 rounds just as it looked as if Sonny Bill was going to be knocked out. Allegations have been made that it was Khoder who cut it short.
Despite the debacle I don't believe Khoder deserves the bad rap he gets from the media and the public.
His job is to get the best deals for Sonny Bill and make him millions of dollars and he has more than done that in the past few years.
In many respects he reminds me of Don King, the world's most successful boxing promoter, but also the most hated.
He was responsible for giving us the Rumble in the Jungle that was Muhammad Ali v George Foreman in Zaire, the greatest boxing promotion in history. King also backed other fights involving Ali, Joe Frazier and George Foreman and later on Mike Tyson.
His rise as a promoter caused huge ructions in boxing circles because he had served jail time for killing two men but also because black men weren't supposed to be managers and promoters.
They were the cannon fodder. Boxing was run by the white elite.
The Khoder Nasser story is similar and while he has never killed anyone, he attracts a lot of resentment and racism because of his Lebanese and Muslim background. The way he has marketed Sonny Bill has a Don King razamataz about it.
King's relationships with some of the great boxers often ended badly though. In fact Tyson ended up beating him up in a hotel lobby.
It would be sad if something similar happened to Khoder Nasser but if he continues to promote Sonny Bill as a boxer it's inevitable that it will all end in tears.